NBC 12 — Democrats walked off the floor of the House of Delegates Tuesday morning as the pastor invited to give the opening prayer delivered stinging remarks condemning abortion and gay marriage and said God would bring his “wrath” against those who don’t follow biblical principles.
“Is this a prayer or a sermon?,” a delegate yelled from the Democratic side of the chamber as the prayer turned increasingly political.
Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn, D-Fairfax, ultimately ended the prayer by banging her gavel and moving right into the Pledge of Allegiance.
“It was totally disrespectful to all of us, all of us in this House,” said Del. Luke Torian, D-Prince William, who is a pastor himself.
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The pastor, the Rev. Dr. Robert M. Grant Jr. of The Father’s Way Church in Warrenton, had been invited by Del. Michael Webert, R-Fauquier.
Speaking to reporters afterward, Grant stood by his remarks and called the Democratic response “unprofessional.”
“I think that statehouse belongs to all the citizens. And all the citizens have a voice,” Grant said. “If it’s my turn to have a voice, and I am a pastor, what do you expect from me? If you don’t want to hear what a pastor has to say, then don’t invite one.”